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Federal .45 ACP cases.


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I am cleaning and sorting my .45 ACP brass by federal.

I was wondering if anyone knows what the difference between the brass/goldish tint vs. the silver colored ones?

What are the silver ones made of and do I discard them or treat them the same as the brass ones?

Are the silver ones more or less durable ? Are they even re-loadable?

Some of the silver cases are labeled "Federal .45 ACP" and some are labeled "Federal .45 ACP +P".

Please let me know how to treat these cases.



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The silver cases are nickel plated and should hold up just as well as the brass cases. Some people prefer nickel plated to brass and some the other way around but in 25+ years reloading it makes no difference to me.



Edited by chirpy
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Chirpy is right. Silver colored Federal .45ACP cases will be brass plated with nickel. Most think that nickel plated brass is more prone to cracking. It is not a problem, because cracked brass is easily spotted when you check them over before loading.

Federal .45 brass is very good. You can run nickel, brass, and the +P, all together. You won't notice much difference between them.

Keep an eye out for Federal NT brass. It may have small pistol primers.

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+2 to the posts above, with just a bit more info:

Nickel cases may not go as many loadings as yellow cases because the plating causes a hardening of the metal (through a process I think is called hydrogenation). The case may develop a mouth split on firing, or might have flaking of the plating at the mouth of the case, but I am not aware of any catastrophic case failures related only to the plating.

Nickel plating the cases seems to change "lubricity" - the cases seem more slick than even highly polished yellow brass, something I consider a plus.

The Federal plating doesn't seem as heavy as that on other brands. I have been able to wear through the plating on a once fired case just by a two or three hour run in new walnut media and polish. It doesn't effect function, it just looks funky.

The +P cases are just a headstamp identifier for the loading the case was made into. It should be the same case as the regular nickel stuff.

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